After Crispin Lipscomb had informed the media that he will transitioning into a new chapter of his career from now on, another Canadian World Cup rider says good bye to the active sport.
But while the retirement of Lipscomb came a little bit surprising, the end of Dan Raymond's career was a logical step he already had outlined at the halfpipe World Cup at Cypress Mountain one year ago.
After two World Championships participations, 32 World Cup start with two fourth rank finishes in Furano, Japan (2006 and 2007), a seven years and three months lasting World Cup career's wrapped up in Calgary, Alberta, yesterday. But there is one more thing which will finally wrap up things on a professional level. "I will be a fore runner at the 2010 Olympics" Raymond says who had missed the 2006 Winter Games by being "only" the alternate rider in case of an injury of the four nominated shredders.
And looking back, the Torino Olympics were part of his most disappointing moment. Not because Raymond, who is able to conversationally speak Japanese, didn't make it but how he missed his spot.
"The way it happened was the worse. I needed a ninth but ended up tenth at the Whistler World Cup. If I got disappointed, it was always about my own riding", the 34-years-old stated. Not making it to the Olympic team could have been a good reason for retirement but "the fact that I never took a podium spot in a World Cup kept me going on. This was always my biggest goal. And I was always motivated to learn new tricks which is the best part of it. At this level you ride with the best of the world also seeing new kids you never heard about before. Everyone can compare his run with Shaun White but it`s when a young European you didn't know before steps in the ring doing the same tricks you do."
Looking back, getting to this level was the biggest moment of his career: "I will always remember the first time I made it to a World Cup final. That was the springboard into keep on doing this, knowing that you belonging here."
Bad injury almost ended career
But every great time ("The most fun I ever had on tour was singing karaoke in Japan besides the fun of my own riding and stomping my tricks") sometimes gets interrupted by something bad. As a lot of other riders, Dan Raymond had several injuries - the worst one last August. "I punctured my lunge and was thinking once again of retirement. I couldn't imagine another crash as it was so painful. And I didn't want to end my career by lying dead in the halfpipe. "
But - and here the circle closes - the major event related to his most disappointing moment of his career - got him back to business. "Knowing that the next Games would be in Canada brought me back although I knew it would be a tough battle. But I would have regretted not trying it."
Show must go on
Now, after missing his spot for Vancouver 2010 and after his last ever World Cup contest it's not that the Whistler, BC, resident wouldn't know what to do."My goal is to be back on tour with the next generation of freestyle riders as a coach."
After being a top level rider for almost a decade and with the background of being the coach for the Canadian junior team ("I outlasted Neil Connolly who did his last World Cup last December in Seoul") he has in store what you need to be a good coach. "I have already done all of that coach clinic stuff from before becoming a competitor. I always thought what was missing is an understanding what it's like to be an athlete, how it is to lose and win, how to make it in a team. That's the sort of thing you can't learn at a course."
And although there haven't been any contract signed yet and Raymond needs some time off in order to not missing the competition too much one thing is for sure: "I'm not coming back as a rider."